Mike McBrierty of Biogen serves as RTA legislative and policy chair, with Maeve Gardner of GlaxoSmithKline serving as RTA legislative and policy vice chair. Together they guide the development and execution of RTA legislative and policy priorities.

Current RTA legislative, policy, and funding priorities and focus areas are listed below, along with recent accomplishments.


RTA state legislative and funding priorities, including ongoing RTA policy

  • Support the implementation of the Governor’s 25-year transportation vision for North Carolina, consistent with Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) (i.e., the “Strategic Mobility Formula” legislation signed in 2013 with strong bipartisan support.) STI aligns policy and priorities at the statewide, regional, and division/local level.
  • Maintain support for the balanced network access and user fee-based approach for state transportation funding approved by the NC General Assembly in 2015, including lowered, stabilized, and indexed fuel tax rates and continued fair share contribution opportunities
  • Support increased consideration of turnpikes and express lanes, including General Assembly approval of raised cap in 2015
  • Advance federal/state funding or public-private partnership to accelerate higher speed rail to Richmond, Washington, DC, Hampton Roads, Va., and Northeast Corridor
  • Enable NCDOT to implement 75 MPH pilot on selected lower-volume freeways
  • Accelerate the completion of 540 including support for the rapid completion of Complete 540 planning study and identify funding to accelerate construction
  • Ensure infrastructure planning supports economic development efforts in Triangle and N.C.
  • Support consideration of tolls for congestion relief or significant safety improvements for existing freeways; consider supplemental funding and variable tolls to improve support
  • Ensure tolls remain on corridor or contiguous toll route to maintain a user fee relationship and preserve support for turnpikes as a funding option;  explore turnpike structure options
  • Support transit local option legislation, securing legislative adjustments if necessary

Federal legislative and funding priorities, including ongoing RTA policy

  • Extend I-495 / future Interstate corridor authorization east from Raleigh to Hampton Roads via Rocky Mount and Elizabeth City
  • Timely reauthorization of federal surface transportation policy and funding legislation over a longer-term legislative authorization period, via continued or expanded user-fee based funding approach, including tolls
  • Advance federal/state funding or public-private partnership to accelerate higher speed rail to Richmond, Washington, DC, Hampton Roads, Va., and Northeast Corridor
  • Index federal fuel taxes for inflation
  • Create a federal fair share contribution opportunity for electric vehicles
  • Continuation of federal loan programs like “TIFIA” to help finance transportation priorities
  • Sustain or enhance federal New Starts / Small Starts funding eligibility for regional transit, including passenger rail and possible Bus Toll Lanes to fund transit capital and operations
  • Sustain or improve the “rate of return” for transportation funding for North Carolina

Recent legislative, policy, and funding accomplishments

  • Incorporation of provisions authorizing future I-44 in both US House and US Senate federal transportation reauthorization bills in 2015
  • Approval of balanced access- and user fee-based funding approach for North Carolina in 2015
  • Increase in number of authorized turnpike projects for North Carolina in 2015
  • Approval of legislation in 2014 that accelerates the introduction of part-time ramp metering signals on North Carolina freeways to allow for the implementation of freeway flow protection on segments of I-540 and other freeways to improve reliability
  • Repeal of legislation that had restricted the study of alternative corridors for 540 in southern Wake County in 2013c
  • Approval of Strategic Transportation Investments legislation (strategic mobility formula) which appropriately aligns policy and priorities at the statewide, regional, and division/local levels and provides a data-driven methodology that incorporates congestion relief
  • Approval of Interstate 495 corridor along US 64 from Raleigh east to Rocky Mount/I-95
  • Incorporation of fair share contribution opportunity for electric vehicles in state budget – at a lower rate than other vehicles pay to continue to encourage the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles
  • Legislative authorization of future express lanes for portions of I-40
  • Approval of speed limit increases on portions of I-540, NC 540, Toll NC 540, Toll NC 147, US 1 south freeway, Aviation Parkway freeway, and Wade Avenue freeway
  • Approval of $17m in funding for new or enhanced interchanges on I-40 at Aviation Parkway and US 70 at Brier Creek Parkway
  • Approval of $25m/year in gap funding for 540/147 Triangle Expressway in Wake and Durham counties

RTA legislative and policy priorities were approved by RTA Steering Committee on January 9, 2014, updated October 15, 2014 by the Steering Committee and February 12, 2015 by the Leadership Team, based on recommendation by RTA legislative and policy chair Mike McBrierty and RTA legislative and policy vice chair Maeve Garder. They incorporate prior approvals by the RTA Steering Committee on January 10, 2013 and September 26, 2012, and prior approvals by the RTA Leadership Team on May 9, 2013 and November 10, 2011.